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Three Points: Jamaica v El Salvador

Garath McCleary (pictured) has scored once in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)

TORONTO – The CONCACAF Gold Cup continues on Tuesday with Group B play as Jamaica and El Salvador meet in the first-ever tournament game on Canadian. BMO Field, the home of Toronto FC, will be the location for this historic encounter.

Here are Three Points to consider ahead of the game:

1) Jamaica looks to continue building
The Reggae Boyz certainly look ready for bigger things in this Gold Cup and their Copa America experience is clearly serving them well. A 2-2 opening draw with Costa Rica in the battle of Caribbean and Central American champions was followed with a last-gasp win over Canada. Jamaica is 2-0-0 all-time against E Salvador in Gold Cup play. A win on Tuesday would seal the top spot in Group B.

2) Big opportunity for El Salvador
The Cuscatlecos have been resurgent under manager Albert Roca. Exceeding pre-tournament expectations, Roca’s men kicked off Gold Cup play by drawing 0-0 with Canada. That result was followed by a 1-1 stalemate with El Salvador as Dustin Corea’s stoppage-time volley secured the valuable point. A win against Jamaica and a Costa Rica draw/loss, would see the Salvadorans finish top of the group.

3) Austin leading Reggae Boyz’ charge
Heading in to the tournament, Jamaican fans everywhere knew that if their team was going to make a splash at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, midfielder Rodolph Austin would have to play well. He has not disappointed. The former Leeds United man has been influential throughout the first two games, patrolling the center of the park and heading home a stoppage-time winner against Canada. Indefatigable, Austin – the 2014 Caribbean Cup MVP – also played every minute of the team’s three Copa America matches in June. It remains that no Caribbean team has ever won a Gold Cup, and if Jamaica is going to be the team to buck that trend, Austin will have to lead the way.

Bonus Points
• El Salvador is seeking its third straight appearance in the Gold Cup quarterfinals
• Jamaica’s best-ever finish at Gold Cup came in 1993, a tournament in which the Reggae Boyz finished in a tie for third with Costa Rica.

 
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